Maoist bandh: Orissa police station gutted, normal life hit

A police station in Orissa was burnt and two officers abducted on the first day of Maoist shutdown.

Zeenews Bureau

Bhubaneswar: A police station in Orissa’s Keonjhar district was attacked and set to fire by Maoists on the first day of their 48-hour nationwide shut down on Wednesday.

Reports indicate over 60 heavily armed men surrounded the Daitari police station and set it on fire. They may have abducted the Station In-charge.

A forest department office also came under attack and its officer too has been abducted. There were reports of Naxal fire on CRPF camps in Dantewada, Bijapur and Narayanpur districts of Chhattisgarh as well though no report of losses was there.

The incident occurred even as security personnel were on high alert following the call given for the `Bharat bandh` by Maoists in protest against the killing of a top Naxal leader Azad alias Cherukuri Raj Kumar on July one in Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh.

Strict vigil was maintained in Orissa, West Bengal,
Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh
and parts of Maharashtra, the regions worst affected by Naxal

With trains becoming a soft target for the Maoists,
Security was tightened at stations and patrolling of tracks
intensified in Maoist-hit areas.

Arrangements were made to ensure safety of train
passengers and rail property since there was a "credible
threat" from the Maoists to Railway assets.

Special task forces were kept on stand-by to meet any
eventuality while some trains were being bunched escorted by
pilot engines, a Railway official said. Speed restrictions
have also been put in place.

In Orissa, Government bus services were suspended in
Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Gajapati as a precautionary
measure leaving passengers stranded at many places, police
said. Private buses also stopped plying in some areas in the
fear of a naxal attack.

Trains passing through Maoist-hit areas were cancelled
and short terminated on the East Coast Railways (ECoR).
But trains on the main Howrah-Mumbai line were running
as usual, sources said, adding wherever necessary the trains
are running with pilot engine.

Passenger bus services were affected particularly on
NH-215 passing through Maoist prone areas in Sundargarh and
Keonjhar district. Very few trucks were plying, police said.

In West Bengal, Life in the Maoist-hit areas of West
Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts was paralysed.

Though all police stations and CRPF camps in the three
districts were on high alert, life was crippled in rural
areas, while it was normal in urban areas, district police
officials said.

Life was unaffected in Midnapore town as also in Bankura
and Purulia towns, with government offices, courts, shops and
markets open with the joint security forces on patrol, the
officials said.

The picture was just the reverse in rural areas, with
roads deserted and shops and markets closed and people staying
indoors, the sources said.

South Eastern Railway has deployed Quick Response teams
of the GRP, RPF and CRPF on trains and tracks on the
Kharagpur-Rourkela and Kharagpur-Adra sections.

Normal life was paralysed and transportation disrupted in
Chhattisgarh`s Naxal-hit regions.

Vehicles were off the roads in the interior parts and
the roads wore a deserted look. The bandh, however, did not
impact life in urban areas, officials said.

-PTI inputs

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